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Taiwanese skipper returns after 5 years in Tanzania

TAIPEI -- A Taiwanese skipper imprisoned in Tanzania for about five years on charges of poaching has finally returned home, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Hsu Ching-tai returned to his home in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, the previous day following his Aug. 22 release from a Tanzanian jail, the ministry said.

Hsu, the skipper of an Oman-flagged fishing boat, was arrested in Tanzania's economic waters in 2009 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Since then, his family and the ministry have made great efforts to appeal the case, and Tanzania's Court of Appeal announced in late March that he would be released, according to the ministry.

However, when ministry officials were preparing to collect Hsu from the prison, the Tanzanian law enforcement authorities refused to release him and demanded one more related document, said David Wang, director-general of the ministry's Department of West Asian and African Affairs, at a regular news briefing.

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